Intellectual property litigators are, by their very nature, interdisciplinary creatures who weave together different strands of the law to effectively advocate for their clients. Lately, however, the fabric of successful litigation has gotten a little more frayed by the pulls of globalization, e-discovery, and data protection.

On Aug. 24, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California affirmed a critical May 29 discovery decision by the magistrate judge in Columbia Pictures Industries v. Bunnell. While this decision has received much attention in e-discovery circles, the court’s ruling on random access memory has overshadowed a larger lesson about international e-discovery and the impossible decision that may face IP litigators: to choose between potentially violating the law of a foreign country and risking discovery sanctions at home.

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